The London Stock Exchange is looking for new listings from African countries. Traditionally companies based on the continent have to make a strong case to have their stock traded on one the world’s biggest bourses, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
But this week, officials are on roadshow in a bid to boost the LSE’s 115 African listings. The Exchange is banking on partnerships with African exchanges, including those in Nigeria and Kenya, for dual listings, according to the Director of Emerging Markets and International Markets, Ibukun Adebayo.
They will visit Nairobi and Luanda, the capitals of Kenya and Angola respectively, after a similar visit to South Africa two months ago. They also plan future stops in Abidjan, Cairo, Casablanca, according to Adebayo. He said a final roadshow in New York has been planned to showcase the companies to African investors as part of a United Nations initiative.
“If a company has an international strategic growth plan, then the LSE is a perfect vehicle for the company to come and list,” Adebayo was quoted as saying on Tuesday in an interview in Nairobi. He added, “If the company is purely domestic and it needs to raise money in the domestic market and increase the number of investors available to it, then the LSE can help work with local partners.”
The LSE does not expect Brexit to have a significant effect on the operations of the bourse, according to Adebayo. “On average, about 40 per cent of the investors in companies listed on the LSE are from the United Kingdom, 30 per cent from the US and nine per cent are European,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer, Nairobi Securities Exchange, Geoffrey Odundo, was quoted as saying during the roadshow, that many African companies were in the budding stage, focusing on growth and lack the scrutiny that comes with being a publicly traded entity. “Every entrepreneur’s dream is to go public. We are yet to get to that realization in Africa,” he said.
Companies that have announced plans to list on the LSE include the National Oil Corporation of Kenya and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Ltd, according to Bloomberg.